Gutoc: ‘Taho’ throwing case must stir public uproar on China’s behavior in West PH Sea
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition senatorial bet Samira Gutoc on Monday said the public outcry on the “taho” hurling incident involving a Chinese woman and a policeman should translate to similar backlash on China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea.
This as she defended the public’s angry reaction to the February 9 incident at a metro train station, saying it is not trivial as it deserves attention.
“Kung nagagalit ang publiko na binastos ng isang Chinese ang isang pulis, mas dapat tayong magalit sa lantarang pambabastos at pang-aagaw ng China sa ating karapatan at teritoryo sa West Philippine Sea,” Gutoc said in a statement.
“Kung sa insidenteng ito ay nagawa nating i-impose ang batas, sana ganun din sa West Philippine Sea. We are not against the Chinese people. The people of China (are) a separate entity from its government. But if their people are emboldened to bully Filipinos, then that deserves attention,” she continued.
Last Saturday, a Chinese woman reportedly threw taho (soya pudding) at a cop who was assigned at the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) Boni station in Mandaluyong City. The MRT-3 management, upon the orders of the National Capital Region Police Office, recently prohibited commuters from bringing bottled water and other liquids inside the station and trains.
Foreign Affairs Sec. Teddy Locsin and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo have downplayed the incident as “trivial” and a “non-issue” after Vice President Leni Robredo called the incident a “wake-up call” to the “special treatment” accorded to Chinese nationals in the Philippines, amid the steady rise in the number of Chinese nationals working in the country.
READ: Robredo chided over ‘speculative’ statement on Chinese nationals | Leni: Chinese woman’s taho-throwing incident a ‘wake-up call’ to PH
But Gutoc asserted: “Sec. Locsin, with due respect, hindi po ito maliit na bagay. May paglabag sa batas, at kahit sino pa man ang gumawa nito, Chinese man o hindi, ay dapat managot.”
“This incident has struck a chord in the public consciousness because they are tired of being cowards, of being victims, of being powerless. Nahalintulad ng publiko ang pangyayaring ito sa katotohanan: patuloy sa pambu-bully ang China habang tayo walang magawa,” she added.
The opposition candidate then underscored the need to craft laws protecting and asserting the country’s rights to its territories, as well as legislation with penalties against public officials who would fail to protect the Philippines’ sovereignty and territory.
The Eastern Police District earlier said the Chinese woman, Jiale Zhang, was charged with unjust vexation, direct assault, and disobedience to a person in authority while a resolution on her possible deportation would be out soon.
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